If you didn’t hear, you now could get buzzed twice a day at Starbucks! In the mornings, coffee. In the afternoons, wine and beer. Starbucks plans to introduce this idea at selected stores to invite an afternoon crowd.

starbucks beer wine

What are your thoughts on this? I had a small discussion in my new Facebook Group and got mixed reviews.

At first, this might sound like a reckless idea — largest coffee chain selling something not coffee, but let’s first examine other companies.

Virgin — Fun

If I had a choice, I would normally fly Virgin Airlines. They are so dang hip.

From the moment you check-in, you feel like you’re entering a club or lounge — white leather chairs accented with blue and purple lighting coupled with the faint beats of a trance-like song.

virgin america

Everything about Virgin is so fun. It makes you feel a little Richard-Bransonish (yes, I made an adjective with his name). Heck! It’s part of their company values!

virgin theme fun

With their entire theme (or Brand Philosophy according to my book) centered around fun, they’re able to branch out into different markets … all with the same idea of FUN.


Understanding that FUN is their Brand Philosophy, what they do is merely a branch of that core idea.

virgin branding

Apple — Think Different

I’m not a fan. I’m a fanatic. Everything about Apple is so pretty.

Did you know that Apple used to only make computers? In fact, they used to be called Apple Computers. Isn’t it strange for them to branch out into music players, tablets, television, phones … ?

apple think different

Recognize those words? Think different. That’s Apple’s Brand Philosophy. Everything they do revolves around those words. So, in the end, what they produce isn’t that big of a concern.

Starbucks — Community

So, coming back to Starbucks. Below is their mission.

starbucks mission community

If their Brand Philosophy is centered around community, isn’t bringing people together later in the day with wine and beer part of their mission?

It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be successful, but chances are improved if people know of their Brand Philosophy. It will all sort of make sense after that. Do you read coffee anywhere in their mission statement?

Because ultimately, coffee is what they sell, not why they sell it. Just as how photography is what you do, not … you get the idea.

Brand Evangelism

Having a Brand Philosophy allows people to subscribe to something greater than just the product, thus leading into brand evangelism. For example, I don’t buy Apple products simply because they’re pretty; I buy it because I want to be creative or to think differently.

If I only bought Apple because they’re pretty, doesn’t that mean I’ll subscribe to another brand if they’re prettier? Probably not. Again, Brand Philosophy in place …

Here is the introduction for Chapter 9: Brand Evanglism of my book:

To make evangelists out of your audience is every marketers dream, right? Truly, imagine having an entire tribe of supporters that believe so strongly in your service that they take it upon themselves to promote and encourage its use. I’d say this is the ultimate customer engagement.

The act of spreading the word, or evangelism, conjures a sense of religious fervor. And, in a lot of ways, brand evangelists are much like religious crusaders who preach their version of spiritual enlightenment. Both kinds of evangelists voluntarily campaign for a cause—bring good news—because they believe it’s the right thing to do. They’re not paid to pass along messaging by the larger group they’re supporting. Rather, they tell people what they believe, because they’re convinced that the lives and well-being of their friends and family will improve if they can “see the light” and adopt a similar way of thinking and living.

— Lawrence Chan
Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers


All of this merely scratches the surface of brand evangelism. I will be elaborating this idea at my Platform Talk at WPPI this February 2012.

I’m not preaching that you should diversify yourself. I’m talking about Brand Philosophy. If you’re interested in creating the ultimate tribe or evangelist group, come on by.

And even for the thousands of you who already bought my book, I will be expanding on this concept even more … It will be a fun discussion.

You can pre-board here.

See you there?

Lawrence Chan

P.S. A kind note from Brandon Bartee

I estimate that your pricing ebook made me around $40,000 last year due to the changes that I made to my business!

P.P.S. A chat I had in an elevator at PartnerCon

(forgive me I don’t remember your name – if you had this convo with me, email me!)

Photographer: Hello.
Me: Hello.
Photographer: Loved your talk.
Me: Thanks!
Photographer: My friend didn’t come.
Me: Why?
Photographer: She thought you would repeat a blog post or something.
Me: Did I?
Photographer: No! Not even close. She so missed out! Everyone thought your talk was amazing!
Me: Thanks!
Me: That’s my stop. Bye!

See you at WPPI!

P.P.P.S. Would you buy wine and beer at Starbucks? Comment below.